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Old May 28, 2000, 06:31 PM   #1
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When I took my concealed carry course, the instructor insisted that two calibers, .25 ACP and .32 ACP, should never be used for concealed carry, as they are severely limited in power. He also had some lame story about a bar fight in which a guy got shot in the face with a .25 and the bullet did not penetrate his skull (the recent tragedy in Florida would seem to dispute this). The instructor insisted that nothing under .380 should ever be used for defense. Although I agree with the instructor (to some extent), I simply cannot find a "pocket pistol" in at least .380 for summer carry. I'm 6'2", 195 lbs, and I usually wear khakis or jeans. I looked into getting a Kel-Tec P11 or P40, but it was simply too large for concealment in my pocket. Now I'm looking into a P32 or the Berretta Tomcat. Unfortunately, both are chambered in .32 ACP. Is this cartridge that underpowered? Is there any particular ammo (such as Glaser safety slugs) that can increase the lethality of this round? Any input would be appreciated.
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Old May 28, 2000, 06:37 PM   #2
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Dude, you might look around for "Thunderwear". It's a totally inside the trousers holster arrangement. Although it might be a bit hot. At any rate, you can carry a medium sized pistol without it being too obvious. I suppose it depends on how tight your jeans fit......

I have an old Colt 1903 Pocket Pistol in .32 ACP. It is reliable and shoots very easy. It fits in a trouser pocket (I'm middle aged and don't wear tight clothes anymore.) BUT, I would not recomend it as the ideal defensive pistol.

You might consider adding a vest to your wardrobe. Whatever you do, avoid fanny packs.

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Old May 28, 2000, 06:51 PM   #3
Oleg Volk
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The question you might want to ask yourself is "What am I carrying while I play tennis and my 9mm is in the locker?" *That* is where .32 works very well. BTW, a 71gr .32 ball will go through a would be quite likely to go through a skull, too.
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Old May 28, 2000, 06:55 PM   #4
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I live in the Orlando, FL area. I have a number of "real" guns but the Kel-Tec 32 is my "always" gun. Loaded with Silvertips it's the best compromise I've found. Better the .32 in your pocket that the .45 (or.380) you would have left at home. Regards, Dennis
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Old May 28, 2000, 06:56 PM   #5
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Colt mustangs and ponys can still be found in .380 and make excellent small carry guns. Seecamp is making it's little auto in .380 if you can find one (and willing to pay extortionary rates to own one). Same size as their .32. A .32 with magsafe or RBCD rounds make for a potent combination. I personally have carried my 1903 in .32 and felt very comfortable with it. (It is a very thin pistol with an internal hammer). The Keltec 9mm and the plastic Kahrs in 9mm are small, but sounds like you already looked into the keltec.
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Old May 28, 2000, 07:26 PM   #6
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I have the P32, and it's a nice little gun. It goes into the pocket of my shorts for late-night dog walks, or for back-up usage. At any other time, though, I go with something larger.
Someone of your stature should be able to wear most any compact pistol in an IWB rig. The Kahr is unquestionably excellent in this regard. Some members are carrying the MK series Kahrs in pocket holsters, as you would like. But you should be able to work your way aroung most any other of the great choices out there.
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Old May 28, 2000, 08:34 PM   #7
Glenn E. Meyer
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First - I find I can conceal a SW 642 in
a pocket holster in most outfits in TX - just
as hot as Florida. Shorts, dress up, jeans.
If you pick 'em right you can.

With the right outfit you can also IWB a reasonable semi - TX folk do it all the time.
I just came back from a shorts and polo shirt outing with a G26.

Next: Remember this when listening to chest pounding caliber bigots.

Most DGUs are deterrent!!! There is no evidence that caliber of gun influences deterrence in a significant fashion. Point
a gun at someone and it discourages them.

So you get a tremendous benefit from a gun that swamps the caliber!! Carry a 32 ACP
if you want.

But, you can do a bigger gun even in the heat.
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Old May 28, 2000, 08:52 PM   #8
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Sure why not a .32? DennisE is right better something small than nothing. I live in Florida and will pocket a Guardian 32 when I don't feel like something larger. I have also thrown in my pocket a Charter Arms .38 5-shot revolver in a pocket holster. It fills up the pocket but is still concealable.
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Old May 28, 2000, 11:02 PM   #9
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Regardless of what people like to say about 7.65mm (32acp), this is very good round.
It is much faster than 9K and is much more penetrative. Some police agencies in Europe still use it as their duty catrige.
I carry large calibre pistols most of the times, but when I need deep cw, I prefer to use 32 rather than 380.
A PPK in 32 is very small and easy to hide.
Gardian is another choice, it is much thinner that Tomcat.
Seecamp is nice, if you can find it and willing to pay 3 times the price.
BTW, PPK in 380 is very small too. Pocket or Thunderware should be very effective.
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Old May 28, 2000, 11:07 PM   #10
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How about .22 magnum? North American Arms makes some really timy .22 magnum revolvers. I know you wanted a bigger bullet, but .22 magnum has got some awesome penetration and velocity.
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Old May 29, 2000, 08:36 AM   #11
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Any gun you have with you when you need one is way better than the best one you own that is sitting somewhere where you can't get to it.

Having said that, I have a .32 but don't carry it too often, not small enough for when I want to go small. When I really want a small (summer, shorts, bicycle, dogs) gun I go with a M21.

Don't scoff, if you remember RFK took two rimfire rounds to the mellon and was done for. Shot placement is always the key. A .22 in the mellon will do more for you than a .357 flesh wound will.
Before this gets carried away, just go back to the top of the reply
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Old May 29, 2000, 12:29 PM   #12
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.32s are great always guns. The Keltec P-32 seems to be gaining a big following lately. Something else to consider. I have a NAA Mini revolver in .22mag. that I use for pocket carry from time to time and a Keltec P-11 with belt clip that I use almost all the time. The Keltec is actually less trouble to carry IWB with the clip than the mini is in my pocket. I don`t have to shift my keys and pocket knife to the other side (which leaves me with 2 big lumpy pockets instead of one),plus it`s faster and easier to get at. Even if you don`t like wearing your shirts untucked you can blouse them around the clip,with the clip under your belt and no one will be the wiser. You can also carry Keltecs T ware style with the belt clips. Put a 1" canvas belt on over your shirt and under your pants. Clip the Keltec in position just below the belt line and button up. It`s suprisingly comfortable and conceals very well. It will also make you apprreciate the P-11/P-40s long 8.5lb. trigger pull. Marcus
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Old May 30, 2000, 09:17 PM   #13
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I consider my Kel-Tec P-32, to be light years ahead of a sharp stick.


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Old May 30, 2000, 10:36 PM   #14
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And a sharp stick in Thunderware or clipped to the canvas belt can cause damage without even pulling the trigger.
PS I just wish I had the problem of finding a weapon I can carry comfortably. Not being able to carry any gun means the sharp object(nice folding blade) is my only defense.

Sig 229 .40 - When you care enough to shoot the very best!
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Old May 31, 2000, 12:01 AM   #15
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First rule of gunfighting is not to be there.

Second rule: If you have to be there, have a gun. Any gun.

But if given a choice, the KT P-32, the NAA Guardian, or a Seecamp are about as good as pocket carry gets. They are most of our "always" guns.

Third rule, if you're a cop and you can't afford the Glock 26/27 as your backup, then you buy a P-32. PD firarms instructors are carrying them as well.

Better a .32 acp in de pocket than a 1911 at home!

The Seattle SharpShooter - TFL/GT/UGW/PCT/KTOG
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Old May 31, 2000, 12:58 AM   #16
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A .32 acp isL: Way, Way, Waaaay better than 10 sharp pencils from your pocket protector! Better than throwing forks (seen Mystery Men?). Better than threatening your assailant with a nasty papercut! I carry a Kel-Tec P32 when I can't carry my .45...whatever it takes!
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Old May 31, 2000, 07:21 AM   #17
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There are many excellent hanguns in .32 (7.65 Browning) that are ideal for deep concealment. The Walther PPK comes to mind first, and .32 PPKs tend to be somewhat cheaper than .380 models. There is also the M1903 and the new KelTecs in that caliber.

For ammo, look for the imported Fiocchi 62-gr SJHP. This is a fairly hot little number, published reports put it at 1,000fps and the HP expands reliably. Fiocchi's 73-gr FMJ is also a hot loading if you live in a state that prohibits HP loads.

And don't forget the Winchester Silvertips, altho the Seecamp fans tend to snap all of those up.

One attribute of the .32 pistols is not only size, but their light weight. I carry one while jogging and it's never been an issue. My primary concerns while jogging are feral dogs, trespassers and poachers (I live on a farm).

Of course, the .32 is a small round. Ideally, you should carry a Garand in .30-'06 (not that wimpy .308 chambering).


Ken Strayhorn
Hillsborough NC
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Old May 31, 2000, 08:42 AM   #18
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Therapydude: ... the recent tragedy in Florida would seem to dispute this ...[/quote]There is a difference between "stopping" and "killing". Let me illustrate what I mean with the following story which happened to a sheriff's deputy that I knew (I didn't actually know him but I knew who he was as we frequently would nod "hello" to each other in the locker room).

He frequently worked the evening shift and because he knew first hand what the crime was like, he felt uncomfortable having his wife home alone and unarmed. So he bought her a Raven .25 pistol. His wife was a small woman, less than 5 feet tall and weighing under 100 pounds which is why I guess they went for such a small gun instead of something with more stopping power.

One night she heard someone breaking into her home. She grabbed her gun. Loaded the magazine, locked her bedroom door and called the police.

From what I understand, the police were at the house in under five minutes (especially since it involved the wife of a fellow deputy). When they got there, they found the intrudor dead a few feet from the front door and they also found the woman dead in her bedroom.

Nobody knows what really happened because the two people involved were dead but from the physical evidence, the investigators were able to put together the following ...

The intrudor kicked in the bedroom door and the woman starting firing. We don't know the order of bullet placement but one shot missed, two landed in the chest, one in the stomach, one in the shoulder and one in the leg. When the woman stopped shooting (because her gun was empty), the intrudor strangled her and tried to make his way out of the house.

Interesting enough, it was the shot in the leg that caused his death since it hit a vein or something causing him to pass out from the drop in blood pressure and caused his heart to stop. The .25 killed him and killed him quickly (in under 5 minutes) but it was not able to stop him.

ANY caliber gun can "kill" and it can kill QUICKLY but not every caliber can "stop". They are not the same thing. You can "stop" someone but not kill them and (as the above story illustrated) you can kill someone but not stop them.

When shooting for self defense purposes, your goal is to "stop" your attacker. Check out Marshall & Sanow Stopping Power Stats to see how different calibers compare against each other in real world situations. After looking at that, pick a caliber that gives stopping power percentages that you feel comfortable with.

My personal recommendation is the Kahr MK9 ...

... It is no bigger than a PPK but instead of shooting a .32 or .380, it fires the full power 9mm Parabellum and when the proper load is used, the 9mm has demostrated 90%+ stopping capability in the real world. If you can carry a Berretta Tomcat, then you can also conceal a MK9.

Living in the hot & humid Florida swamps, the MK9 is my CCW most of the year. Tucked away in an Action-Direct Defender Belly Band, it completely disappears from sight even when I wearing a dress shirt & tie without a jacket (tight jeans are also no problem) and I can carry it in complete comfort ...

... I recognize the age old saying "... a 25 (or 32) in the pocket is better than a 45 in the safe ..." is very true, but in the one moment when your life might be on the line, may the caliber you carry not be found lacking.

Share what you know, learn what you don't -- FUD

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Old May 31, 2000, 09:00 AM   #19
Oleg Volk
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A lot of us merely want an advantage in the ensuing fist-fight or chase...a few rounds of 25/32 might not stop but they would improve matters more than would empty hands. For some, esp. in no-CCW states, even a .25 would be pushing it if carried *always* and, IMO, even a Browning Baby or an equivalent beats an empty hand...and can compliment legal means of defense (batons, knives, whatever else is legal). The plus of even a mouse gun is that is projects your boundaries better than impact/edged weapons and requires little strength or leverage to operate.

I would also like to note that, while 22/25 is distinctly ineffective, .32 even when fired from a short barrel is adequate *given proper placement* (which is hard with many mouse guns). Having seen Fiocchi ball punch through a fridge, front and back (.22 did not get past the first 1/2" of vinyl), I suspect if would do some damage to head or COM...although I also would feel much better about having my .45 Glock handy

[This message has been edited by Oleg Volk (edited May 31, 2000).]
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Old May 31, 2000, 09:09 AM   #20
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I certainly prefer bigger over smaller when it comes to caliber. If you can fit a Kahr Mk9 in your pocket and are not bothered by the weight, then go for it. It's a great gun. Accurate, reliable, and 9mm is significantly better than .380 or .32.

That said, if the choice is .32 or nothing, .32 beats a .45 in your safe. I have an NAA Guardian, which I like. Also consider the Kel-tec P32.

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Old May 31, 2000, 09:17 AM   #21
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Oleg Volk: ... want an advantage in the ensuing fist-fight ... [/quote]When applying for the CWL, it was spelled out with examples that being "punched around" is not sufficient cause to legally use a firearm -- fear of "death" or "grave bodily injury" is required.

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Old May 31, 2000, 09:56 AM   #22
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Thank you for the link to the marshal satistics!

I agree with you that a 9mm or a .45 (preferably in long colt) would be the optimum. I also agree that it IS possable to carry in the "Belly Band" holster you advocate. Somevery good arguments for the .32 side can be presented. However before that let me warn those who feel armed with a .25 auto!

Not just one but numerous cases abound where the .25 failed to penetrate the skull! One happened close to where I live when a daughter emptied a Full Magazine of .25 into her mothers head...she is now in Jail and being sued by her mother for the disfigurement!!! The satistics for the .25 hover in the 20% range for many loads!

Now the argument for the .32 acp

1. The sucsess rate is 50% for fmj. This is comperable to a .38 ( not plus "P").

2. The ease of carry makes a .32 more available to the defender......even stacked up against a 9mm in a "belly band" holster. The problem as I see, is the speed and effectivenes to which a Majority (not including pro's like you Fud) of the majority of the C.C.W. population could pull out, aim and fire from such a "deep cover" position. ( Verses the Kell-Tec cliped in a cross-draw inside the pants).

3. Full power loads in such small auto pistols are prone to having shooters "limpwrist" rounds and Jam the wepon. This can happen to anybody as the angle/grip and a whole host of factors changes once you are in a deadly situation. I have heard from numerous people who are not able to shoot Khars or Mini-Glocks with out having the Gun jam....obviosly they need more training...still having such a tight and steady grip on a gun in a fight is not guaranteed!!!
THERAPYDUDE!, your instructor is a fool. He takes one rotten apple ( the .25) and extends this to the .32!!! Take a good look at the satistics that Fud has kindly provided us...

If you want to take FUD's advice, thats fine, just be sure to shoot the pistol BEFORE you buy it!! I love the 9mm, but I carry a nickled ppk in .380...( wish the Kell-tec came out years ago!) If you buy the "Kill-Tec" do be sure to get the Chromed slide...I hear that the blued can rust a bit easy...

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Old May 31, 2000, 10:07 AM   #23
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Of course if the guy who was punching you in the face was to make a death threat( which I'm sure is what OLEG ment to say)...that is called imperfect self defense! With a good lawyer lot's o' greenbacks and time you would probly get off the crimminal charges Then come civil suits and the lesser amount of evidence required to strip you of the rest of your estate!

Of course we all hope that the gun will just be a deterant and that none of us actualy has to go to court! In that arena Fud's "Bigger Gun" Philosophy wins...if you are as dedicated as he is!
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Old May 31, 2000, 10:08 AM   #24
Oleg Volk
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I *hear* about rust but my blue P32 isn't rusting yet in spite of being in very damp environments over the last year. I did get a chrome P11 though. Chrome P32, btw, has red on white sights which seem more visible than (dirty) white on black of the regular version. I am thinking of getting a chromed P32 in addition to the blued version (maybe just a slide, maybe a whole new gun)
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Old May 31, 2000, 10:17 AM   #25
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Interesting thread. FWIW, recently my brother gave me a .32 ACP double deringer. This is not a gun I'd ever have bought for myself. But it's very small, light, and concealable, and, most of all, it's a gun.

A highly-trained LEO friend of mine has told me more than once that *any* gun is better than no gun, and I tend to believe him. So, the more I look at this .32 deringer, the more I can see carrying it either as a backup or when I can't carry anything larger. IOW, I don't see it as a preferred defense, but it might have a purpose when anything is better than nothing.

[This message has been edited by jimmy (edited June 01, 2000).]
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